by Tony Nester

The Good Samaritan
Tony Nester
Luke 10:25-37

Many of us have heard this story so many times it might be helpful to update it and put it into modern language. Here's a contemporary version of the parable.

A certain man went along down the road traveling from point-A-to-point-B. And as it happened he fell among some thieves who beat him terribly, then left him wounded and bleeding along the highway.

And by chance there came a charismatic Catholic and a reformed Jew walking along that way. And when they saw him, they passed by on the other side. Likewise, a bible-toting Baptist, a proud to be ''full-Gospel'' Pentecostal, a ''word- walking'' plain-old Protestant AND even a couple of New Age Unitarian Universal existentialists happened along while on their way to an inter-faith community leaders conference. As each one in turn came upon the man and saw him lying helplessly in the way, all passed by on the other side.

But a certain Samaritan as he journeyed came where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion on him. Being on foot and without means of provision to render aid, the Samaritan ran two miles to the nearest public telephone and hurriedly dialed 911.

Because funding for the police, paramedic and fire rescue services had all been drastically cut, being woefully under-staffed there was no unit available to send, especially not to such an out-of-the-way place. The emergency dispatcher immediately gave the sympathetic Samaritan a referral list of private ambulance companies to contact.

One-by-one the Samaritan called each of the ambulance companies, but all required a cash deposit prior to actual transport of the patient, which they would be happy to charge to the ''financially responsible party'' on any valid American Express, MasterCharge or Visa Card. In lieu of a cash deposit, only a limited number of health insurance plans were accepted, providing they could obtain prior authorization from the health care provider for ambulance serv ...

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